RE: Is Jonah to be taken literally?

From: Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2001 - 11:34:51 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Is Jonah to be taken literally?"


    Isn't Christendom in a confused enough state already? Why can we not
    accept the words of the Lord at their face value? It appears that many
    are able to accept some miracles, but not others! This appears to be a
    purely arbitrary matter. But perhaps I am missing something. Is there in
    this a logical principle that distinguishes one biblical event from
    another? Perhaps those who believe there is will respond.

    I'll try to give you my perspective to your questions.

    1. YES. In addition to our sinful nature and pride, is probably due to the
    subject matter and the way it has been presented to us. Sinful nature and
    pride lead to assuming that a particular interpretation is the only correct
    one, or important enough that we see fit to separate from other
    denominations and set up new ones. The subject matter is difficult to
    comprehend (e.g., the concept of the Trinity, free will). The way the Good
    News is presented to us in the Bible does not allow for "follow up
    questions" for specific details (well, it does, but the answers are not
    always crystal clear).

    2. Because the "word of the Lord" is not always as clear as we would like
    when it gets down to details.

    3. The "logical principle" is based on extra-Scriptural evidence, pure and
    simple and on "internal inconsistencies" as George Murphy pointed out to me
    recently. Miracles are easier acceptable as long as there is no evidence to
    the contrary. Often there is none (the floating iron axe head cannot be
    examined, nor can the water from which is was retrieved and we can't model
    the water flow in that part of the Jordan to determine if there could be
    conditions that would allow the axe head to surface , the wine is long gone,
    the talking donkey has expired, and Lazarus return to the land of the living
    was temporary). Those miracles are relatively easy to accept. But some
    will, undoubtedly, say that Lazarus was not really dead and the story is
    allegorical and is recorded to show us that ... (and it is left up to each
    of us to fill in the blanks). There is a consensus amongst all of us,
    however, that the Incarnation, Death of the Cross, and Resurrection did take
    place. To me, these events and my eligibility to share in the rewards of
    Jesus' suffering and death, constitute the Good News. The rest of Scripture
    is absolutely fascinating and, at times, I can't wait to see how it all
    (Special and General Revelation) fits.

    Chuck Vandergraaf

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